I shot and wrote the feature in this month’s issue of United’s in-flight magazine, Hemispheres, about a controversial character in the Peruvian desert who is trying to defend the world’s largest trove of marine fossils from commercial scavengers.
Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category
Spent the day with the climbers who clean wind turbines, for this text/photo feature in the March/April 2013 issue of Sierra.
In the March 2013 Interior Design issue of Dwell magazine, I profiled San Francisco modern architect Abigail Turin.
250 young Bay Area professionals walk into a bar, surrender their phones, and try to hang on….
In the NYT Sunday Styles section.
I covered an intimate and very interesting event in San Francisco on Friday — the Freedom Forum — which brought together Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi and various inspiring activists from around the world. Here at The Daily Beast.
Wrote a short piece, with pictures, in today’s Science Times, about a magnificent Buddhist capital, Bagan, in Myanmar, and how the country’s recent political changes is/will affect cultural heritage and archaeology.
Your way into my cover story in this weekend’s Travel section might be RVs, road trips, The Greatest RV Rally in the World, doggie swimsuit competition, retired people, redwoods, hot springs, or Paul Bunyan. Any which way, there’s something for everyone.
This lengthy piece was a labor of love, a two-year process from assignment (originally for The New York Times Magazine) to its birth (at The Atlantic). For various reasons, it turns out that it’s hard to get a story published in mainstream American media that goes deep into sex, design, engineering, medical history, and pop culture. I’m delighted it found a great home.
Last December, while in Kenya on a photo project about the global disability rights movement, I met Nirvan Mullick, a filmmaker and digital media producer from Los Angeles. We were both attending this gathering of African disabled youth leaders. Over lunch one day, he mentioned a project he was involved with back home about a 9-year-old kid who made an arcade from cardboard in his dad’s used auto parts store. Fast forward five months: “Caine’s Arcade” hit the web, and went viral.
I caught up with Mullick and Caine in San Francisco last weekend and filed this story.
Pisco is a spirit made from a single distillation of young wine. It has been made in the dry coastal valleys of southern Peru since at least the early 17th century. It is enjoying a renaissance in Peru. Read on (or look at the pictures)….
This week, the film director and explorer James Cameron became the first human to travel on his own to the world’s deepest abyss, the Challenger Deep. He’s not the only one to have that dream; but he’s the first to make it there alone. In this post at the NY Times, I write about the guy that almost beat him to it.
My piece for Wired News on Summit Series, an impressive conference described by one venture capitalist in attendance as “a young TED meets Burning Man.”
“On a recent weekend, Barack Obama’s chief technology strategist, a prominent conservationist, and a supernatural mentalist — a professional mind reader — walked into a California ski lodge…”
Ever wondered why you almost never hear women doing the voiceovers for movie trailers? Not sure why I did, but I found some interesting research behind how audiences react differently to men’s and women’s voices. From last Sunday’s Arts & Leisure section:
“What gender is the voice of God? The question has been pondered by mystics through the ages, but in the sanctuary of cinema the voice of a sonorous, authoritative, fear-inspiring yet sometimes relatable presence is, invariably, that of a man. Consider the trailer and the omniscient, disembodied voice that introduces moviegoers to a fictional world….”
I’ve got a piece in today’s Sports section on Egyptian dominance in the sport of squash.
“In Egypt we don’t obey rules as the English, or Germans, or in the States,” said Ramy Ashour, the former world champion. “This helps us in squash.”
Nevada’s high northeastern desert, there are 200,000 skiable acres and several summits that top 11,000 feet, and a small heliski operation that has wielded a monopoly on dumps in this remote range for 34 years
Here’s my piece in the December issue of Skiing Magazine.
2011 was the year that a new, iron-oxide-eating bacterium was found devouring the Titanic. Scientists learned of a mushroom in Brazil that enters and then alters the brains of carpenter ants, causes them to die in the act of eating shrub leaves, and then grows out their heads—the scientists nicknamed it the “zombie-ant fungus.” Four new bees were identified in New York City, and 12 new frog species were located in India, including one that croaks like a meowing cat. In Southeast Asia’s Mekong region, researchers counted 200 new species this year, among them a female-only lizard that clones itself. A Mexican fisherman inadvertently pulled up a rare, one-eyed cyclops shark. And researchers combing a South African mine found, living in the fluid-filled rock fractures, the deepest-known multicellular organism: a nematode worm, grazing on bacteria.
My round-up of some of the bizarre and unexpected creatures that were entered into the annals of life as we know it this year.
This winter the National Science Foundation and one of its contractors, Raytheon Polar Services, is shuttling fuel 1,040 miles from its coastal Antarctic base, McMurdo Station—the primary American logistical hub—to the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station. A century ago, Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen became the first man to reach the pole. He used sled dogs and skis; the NSF and Raytheon will soon use automated Caterpillar and Case tractors. The robotic vehicles will crawl across the continent at 5 to 12 mph for 24 hours a day, accomplishing in just a week and a half what took Amundsen nearly two months. Here’s how they’re doing it.
Nice to pick up a couple Lowell Thomas awards again this year, for both the writing and photography of my Amazon story that ran in the NY Times last fall. See it here.
In August I spent 10 days in Tonga swimming with humpback whales, on assignment for ISLANDS Magazine. It blew me away. Check out this short video about the experience.
My feature, on snorkeling with humpback and marine conservation, will appear in an upcoming issue of the magazine.
I passed through Queenstown, New Zealand last January en route to Antarctica. For the Wall Street Journal, I came up with the idea for a piece in which I would cram a bunch of adrenaline activities into a single day. So here you have it–jetboating, whitewater rafting, and bungy jumping. Includes a video of me screaming for my life in free fall over a river canyon.
This spring I spent three weeks in the Philippines with a team of scientists from the California Academy of Sciences, trawling the ocean floor, canvassing the jungly flanks of volcanoes and diving in coral reefs. The scientists believe they have discovered more than 300 species that are new to science–including colorful new sea slugs, dozens of spiders and a shrimp-eating swell shark that lives 2,000 feet under the sea.
The research expedition constituted the largest, most comprehensive scientific survey ever conducted in the Philippines, one of the most species-rich places on earth.
You can find my story and photos at Smithsonian.
I have some other photos at National Geographic News.
In this week’s New York Times Science section, I wrote and photographed a story about the fate of Adelie penguins in Antarctica. The gist: climate change has created a paradise for some pack ice penguin colonies and a purgatory for others, but the long-term fate of all Adélie and emperor penguins seems sealed, as relentless warming eventually pulls their rug of sea ice out from under them. However, Adélie penguins face possible extinction not merely because of a loss of habitat — but by an unshakable fear of darkness.
I reported the piece in January from the world’s southernmost penguin colony, Cape Royds, during a visit to the South Pole and McMurdo Station, the largest U.S. base in Antarctica. The week I was there, McMurdo residents happened to organize a marathon race on the ice shelf, which I also covered for The New York Times Sports section.
To see more photos from Antarctica, check out this gallery.
In the March issue of Islands, I wrote about a four-day sailing trip across the Hawaiian Islands, on a full-scale replica of a traditional Hawaiian double-hulled voyaging canoe, with one of the few remaining navigators trained in ancient Polynesian wayfinding. Our voyage on the renowned Hokulea was assisted by celestial navigation, and without any technological aids. “Voyaging,” one crewman told me, is “a world of magic, where the heavens come down to the earth and you actually get lifted and sail in the stars. So it’s like a dance,” he said. “As the canoe goes up a wave, it does a little hula. Elvis was never the king of rock and roll, ‘cause we know, we’ve been rockin’-and-rollin’ since time immemorial.”.
I have posted more of my photographs from the trip here.
Just back from Algiers, where I attended a conference celebrating the 50th anniversary of UN General Assembly Resolution 1514: The Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples. Former presidents - South Africa’s Thabo Mbeki, Zambia’s Kenneth Kaunda - and figures in African freedom movements, as well as journalists and filmmakers from Africa and other former colonies, swirled around the Palace of Nations on the city’s outskirts.
On the route back, I stopped a week in Paris. Check out the photo gallery.